" I want to take a few minutes to discuss the latest developments in the republican race.
According to the latest Public policy poll released last night - Mitt Romney stripped Santorum's 15 point lead to pieces.. Santorum now leads Romney in Michigan by only 4 points 37, Romney 34 (a 11% gain for Romney in 1 week). And according to their analysis the momentum is on Romney’s side, and not as newt claimed in FL because Mitt is trying to destroy his opponents but as they describe "Romney's gains have more to do with building himself up”.
frankly, Romney, thanks to the challenges he faces time and again from different flavors of the week candidates, has improved dramatically.
I watched Mitt Romney’s rally in Idaho on Friday —in which for the first time he mentioned his main rival on the stump in over a week.
here are some excerpts:
“I know that Senator Santorum is getting his moment in the spotlight now, which is a good thing, I hope people take a very close look at his record.”
Echoing some of the same arguments as his campaign, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Santorum as a Washington insider.
“He was in Congress for about 20 years, and during that time the size of the federal government doubled,” Mr. Romney said. “And, by the way, he voted to raise the debt ceiling five different times without compensating cuts. And he’s a big proponent of earmarks. He voted for billions of dollars of earmarks, including the bridge to nowhere.”
Mr. Romney concluded: “If you want a fiscal conservative, you can’t vote for Rick Santorum because he’s not a deficit hawk. He says he’s not a deficit hawk. I am. I’m a fiscal conservative. I’ll balance the budget.”
And I want to touch a min. on this distinction Romney is running on against Santorum, without going into details, just in general. Go to rickfacts.com for his record.
This election is not only a defining moment as some put it down, Obamacare might be implemented by 2014 if we don’t succeed in repealing it, but it is in particular over the economy, the Tea party was established over less taxes and regulations, smaller gov’t and so on.
This is not only about reducing the unemployment rate (btw : Unemployment in the U.S. rose to nine percent in mid-February, up from 8.3 percent a month earlier, according to a new Gallup survey. The polling company said this suggests that it is “premature” to assume the economy will not feature prominently in the 2012 election season.) or making ppl so dependent of gov’t benefits and welfare… its about making a fundamental change to make the economy growing again, reduce the deficit, save social security, create jobs and save American jobs. This can only be done with a strong fiscal conservative fist.
The foundation to that, is defeating president Obama, not because he’s a bad man or becuz he’s a Chicago politician.. but because hes over his head, he has no experience, no business or executive skills and is just not up for the job, he has the wrong view on the economy.
And in order to defeat him, the GOP must come up with a strong electable candidate that is able to draw a contrast based on record and experience.. Romney has that 25 years in biz experience, he has a 4 year record of balancing a budget, reducing taxes and sticking up for conservative values.. while Rick Santorum with all due respect, has Obama’s record – bigger gov’t, mass spending, and divisive rhetoric. U tell me which candidate is better suited to make the case for the GOP and draw that sharp contrast between him and Pres. Obama.
Oh and here is another distinction.. I came across a blog post written by a girl I met last night on Twitter a conservative blogger and writer http://ifiwerepresident-rochelle.blogspot.com/
She attended both the Romney’s and Santorum’s rallies last week and here are 11 insights she draw from what her own eyes experienced and what tells u a lot about Mitt Romney:
1) Santorum warms a crowd. Mitt lights a fire under it. The crowd clapped, cheered and yelled "We love you Mitt," (and that was a man). Mitt quickly replied, "I love you too," to much laughter. Mitt's stump speech is patriotic and rousing- and I have heard it over and over, thanks to cable news, so you wouldn't think it wouldn't impress me. But it did.
2) I was fortunate enough to get close enough to watch both candidates work the crowd. When Santorum came through he said, "hurry, hurry," in a friendly, but "I'm in a hurry" rockstar sort of way. Romney addressed each person as he shook their hand, thanking them for taking the time to come. He thanked them for the work that they do. Romney asked for our vote, face to face, without arrogance. He was very humble.
2a) On stage, Santorum appears humble and warm, but up close he seems distant and a little arrogant. On stage, Romney appears VERY confident. But up close, he is warm and humble. Draw your own conclusions from that. :)
3) The crowd that showed up for Santorum was interested in the process and in seeing what he had to say. The crowd that showed up for Romney, was there for Romney. Solid support.
4) Santorum and his staff repeatedly asked the crowd to make donations to his campaign. Romney, nor his surrogates mentioned donating.
5) Santorum was careful to tell us when and where to caucus. Romney also told us when to caucus, and then volunteers signed us up, and passed out leaflets telling us how to caucus and Romney stated that instructions were on his website. -- Organization shows.
6) When Santorum's event was over, I asked people if he had sealed the deal. The answer was, "maybe," "not really," and "I don't know." I asked after Mitt, and the answer was "Yes."
7) Adults from 30-50 showed up for Santorum and families. Mitt also had families and adults from 30-50, however he also had 50+, and (and this surprised me,) LOTS of young people. I asked one kid, who was there alone, hoping to get an autograph on his copy of Mitt's book, how old he was. He was 22. Another, who was getting art canvases signed was about 24. These kids were not brought by parents, and they were LOUD supporters. (Trust me, my ears can attest to it.)
8) At the Santorum event I saw quite a few, (well quite a few for Boise) protesters. I didn't see any for Romney. I didn't even see a Ron Paul sign. That is odd.
9) Neither candidate gave specifics in their speeches. However, Santorum took questions. Romney did not. Instead, Romney had a huge screen which had bullet point specifics, pointing out what he would do.
10) Santorum's Event took place in a high school auditorium. Romney's at a local business warehouse. (Where the owner took great pride in telling us that they were able to add 200 manufacturing jobs this year- to great applause.)
11) Santorum focused on his social conservative credentials. Romeny focused on his fiscal conservative credentials, calling himself a "fiscal hawk."
Now, for those that are nervous and kinda uncertain over the outcome of the primaries and especially the Michigan primaries that the media has decided its make or break for Romney – first of all Romney has a history of rebounding from losses and front runner challenges. Competitive races challenge us too to get motivated, gives all of ourselves to earn the vote and do the best we can for our candidate, learn better the issues and know where our candidates stands.
Lemmi tell u with confidence – Mitt Romney is going to win Michigan next week.
But its not only this race or the other… this is a primary – at the end of the day our nominee has to comes to the convention with 1144 delegates. U pick them up on the road in 50 states..yes momentum ,narrative counts but what counts the most is the final score.
I'm from England – our sports is soccer.. and I compare politics to a soccer game – first in order to win u gotta play offense on ur rivals field.. it’s the goal that counts.. and at the end of the game if there is no winner.. u go on to determine the winner thru penalties..either how, the winner is determined by the way of playing the game and by the highest score they reach..
Talking about electability. Here is the latest USAtoday/Gallup poll – fascinating results:
Mitt Romney leads the president 50%-46% among registered voters, Romney's strongest showing against him to date. Obama edges former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum by a single percentage point, 49%-48%.
• But Romney is seen as the stronger competitor against Obama and as the likely nominee. By nearly 2-1, 58%-32%, GOP partisans say Romney has a better chance of winning in November than Santorum does.
85% of Republicans believe Romney eventually will emerge as the nominee: 31% call that very likely, 54% somewhat likely. Just 13% say Romney probably won't be nominated.
At this moment, ONLY 38% of all Americans predict Obama definitely will win in November; 22% say the Republican will win. In the middle, 32% say November's outcome depends on whom the Republicans nominate!!!!!!!
Republicans are especially inclined to believe their choice matters: a 43% plurality say the results in the general election depend on who gets nominated. Another 40% say the GOP definitely will win.
Part 2: Foreign policy
A Washington Post poll released Monday showed that foreign affairs and national security were two of Obama's strongest suits in the eyes of most Americans.
Among registered voters, Obama led Romney, 55 percent to 38 percent, when it came to the candidate respondents most trusted to handle international affairs, and the president bested the former Massachusetts governor by a nearly identical margin (54-38) on whom they trusted to handle international terrorism.
According to an RCP reports: Romney's foreign policy team is operating at a general election-like level in both size and scope. This robust group of advisers is busy preparing a former governor with limited experience in foreign affairs to be ready take over as commander-in-chief in less than a year.
Romney has a deeply experienced team working on his behalf. Its members include high-level veterans of previous GOP administrations, prominent academics, and State Department and intelligence officials whose areas of expertise and backgrounds encompass a wide range of conservative foreign policy thought.
Three weeks ago, the campaign initiated a weekly foreign policy conference call with the more than 40 experts who are advising the GOP front-runner on international affairs, RCP has learned.
"People are taking a more serious approach every day," said one Romney foreign policy adviser.
And frankly, its not that Foreign policy isnt that important to play an issue with voters, they are just not informed or aware of whats going on – and how America should address the world’s event.
according survey of 500 GOP primary voters, conducted for the newspaper by JZ Analytics, found that 48 percent of respondents believed the U.S. government should continue to intervene in the world “whenever its interests are challenged.” Slightly less — 47 percent — said America could no longer afford to spread its resources too thin and should deal with problems at home. The rest were not sure.
Respondents were asked to choose between two statements. The first one read: “America is the most powerful nation in the world not only because of its strong military but because of the values of personal freedom it represents. America must intervene in the affairs of the world whenever its interests are challenged.” The second option, on the other hand, said: “America is in a new global era and cannot afford to spread its resources too thin. It must rely on strong alliances with other nations and take care of its domestic priorities first.”
Bolton, who endorsed Mitt Romney, responded to this results, by syaing: “What I think the problem is, is that people’s attention has turned away from the international sphere, and it’s a big mistake because you can’t have a strong economy without the ability to protect American interests around the world,”
Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" (Times Books) and author of the forthcoming book "Governing America" (Princeton University Press). he write recently a Article on CNN with regard to this issue:
" -- It is natural that domestic issues are dominating the 2012 presidential campaign. Voters are worried about receiving their next paycheck and being able to pay the mortgage. They don't have much patience for hearing about what is going on in Syria or Pakistan, particularly since they don't feel any imminent threat. Although the candidates have taken part in some debates devoted to foreign policy and nations such as China have entered into the campaign rhetoric, by and large the issue has played a secondary role on the campaign trail.
That's dangerous. The United States is facing a number of major foreign policy challenges that could flare up in the coming years. In November, voters won't have much of a sense about how the parties would address these issues, nor are politicians using the campaign to highlight key issues to voters, one of the functions that our campaigns serve.
Perhaps the biggest issue is Iran. Tensions have been rapidly escalating with the Iranian government, which has continued to issue provocative statements and to work on its nuclear weapons program. There is a very real possibility that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran in the near future. The United States has been ratcheting up the economic and diplomatic pressure on the country. There is a strong chance that the international community will be forced to deal with this threat in the near future.
The second issue involves the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Last year the world watched eagerly as the impossible suddenly seemed possible. Dictators were overthrown and the region headed toward a democratic revolution.
Yet recently there have been reversals. The military crackdown in Syria has undercut the momentum of the changes that took place, while the rise of Islamic fundamentalists in Egypt and Yemen has confirmed some of the fears that existed when the region's governing structure was overturned. If the international community is to keep the region from deteriorating, there is a need for a proactive policy to support the democratic trends of the past year.
There are also questions about potential terrorist threats. The death of Osama Bin Laden and the weakening of the infrastructure of al Qaeda were huge victories for U.S. policy. But there is a danger in complacency. There are growing concerns in Europe as well as the United States about less organized and more unpredictable, small scale attacks by loners who are inspired by anti-Western rhetoric but who don't have much of a formal connection to established networks.
There are also big leadership changes on the horizon in Asia, ranging from a new leader in South Korea to large turnover that will take place in the Politburo in China as a result of a huge wave of retirements as President Hu Jintau steps down. These shifts can easily create instability and posturing to test the boundaries of allies and opponents.
Finally, there are also economic concerns about the future of Europe. This has been the one area where the impact on Americans has been more immediately felt, with the wild swings of the stock market based on concerns about defaults in European countries. Europeans have struggled to agree on collective solutions. Still, what the United States should do about this crisis has not been a topic of frequent discussion among the candidates.
Unfortunately, it seems that 2012 will join a list of elections in which foreign policy was either ignored or handled in anachronistic fashion with parties missing the big changes until after they occurred.
The latest example was: In 2000, Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore were talking about recessions, high technology and lock boxes, as well as nation-building to a limited extent, while al Qaeda prepared to launch one of the most devastating attacks on the United States in the nation's history. The big issues of homeland security and counterterrorist policies received almost no scrutiny on the campaign trail.
Folks, these are serious issues we ought to address, discuss Obama’s 4 yr record in handling these situations, reacting to world events, relationship with US allies and far and foremost offer a clear alternative.
Because yea.. it all looks good – Arab spring, Qaddafi is long dead.. Obama killed Osama.. in fact they say Obama killed more Islamists than his predecessor George Bush in 8 years.. but when u break it all down to pieces – country by country, region by region – issue by issue – things have just gotten worse and some are even unfixable.
Peace in the middle east – is essential for America's leadership role in the world. Yet Obama made it only harder – if it was insisting on settlement freeze on first day in office – giving PA excuse and idea of demand that they haven’t backed off yet. The treatment of Israeli PM, the failed brokership role and the 1967 speech – peace seems far to reach more than ever.
The Arab spring – Egypt – Obama called on Mubarak to step down – these protesters were rapping foreign journalists, brought Muslim brotherhood to power, over 9 attempts to bomb Egypt-Israel gas pipeline . now hes giving 800M to Muslim brotherhood Egypt while cutting 180 Million in assisting Israel with missile defense shield.
Iran – in 2007 there was a This CIA report that Iran halted its uranium enrichment and nuclear program – based on intelligence that in 2003 when American invaded Iraq – because America showed strength not weakness. But since, Iran has rushed to develop its nuclear capabilities they have now the equipment and the capabilities to build 4 atom bombs – the question is only if they have made that decision to pursue fwd with their plan –
Yes, Obama imposed harsh sanction on Iran – better late than never – but until he did that Iran got everything they needed to go underground.
Why did he impose harsh sanctions? because of fear – losing an election in wake of an Israeli strike – oil prices will jump up – ppl will feel it in their pocket when they are at the gas pumps – so he tightened the sanctions.
Btw on a side note: gas prices are at the highest level ever at this time of the year 9avg. $3.56g (gas prices rose 90% since Obama took office).
But Israel and so do some intelligent officials, that even the harshest sanctions wont be proven to be effective anymore – and time is running out –
Ladies and gentlemen the question is not if, but when - Iran will reach the defining moment of becoming a nuclear nation, that will speed up the arms race in the region – the price of oil will be skyrocketing either way but the world will live in fear of terrorists targeting us all over with dirty bombs, and nuclear rockets.
So where is the Obama’s FP success? Where is the outcry? What is the Republican alternative.
all this and more in our next show Monday, Feb 27th at 9PM EST.